Sacramento is home to a sizable population of approximately 16,010 registered nurses (RNs). The city is also home to 4,720 certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and 3,010 licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). While opportunities for Sacramento-based nurses are plentiful, competition is intense and standards are high. To ensure that their nurses have the skills needed to provide exceptional patient care, hospitals and other healthcare providers across the state require postsecondary education, clinical experience, and licensure or certification.

RNs perform a variety of demanding duties, from administering treatment and medications to educating patients and the public about medical conditions. They typically hold an associate’s degree in nursing, bachelor of science in nursing, or master of science in nursing. RNs must also successfully pass the NCLEX-RN national licensure examination.

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LVNs care for the sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled under the supervision of RNs, surgeons, and physicians. They must complete an accredited, state-approved certificate or associate’s degree program and successfully pass the NCLEX-PN national licensure examination. CNAs provide hands-on care and perform routine tasks under the supervision of nursing and other medical staff. They must complete a brief training program and obtain certification.

Graduates of accredited nursing schools in California are prepared to seek positions with top employers such as Methodist Hospital of Sacramento, Sutter Memorial Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children, and Mercy General Hospital. They also have excellent earning potential. Currently, Sacramento-based RNs average $108,530 per year, LVNs average $58,820 per year, and CNAs average $29,670 per year. These are among the highest nursing salaries in the nation.

Below we’ve profiled the best colleges and universities for nursing in Sacramento. These schools offer outstanding nursing programs in all areas of this growing field.

Featured Schools

Sacramento nursing schools by NCLEX score

California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street | Sacramento, California 95819
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 96.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Sierra College
5000 Rocklin Road | Rocklin, California 95677
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 96.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Boulevard | Sacramento, California 95822
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 95.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 91.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
American River College
4700 College Oak Drive | Sacramento, California 95841
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 91.9% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Carrington College - Sacramento
8909 Folsom Boulevard | Sacramento, California 95826
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 89.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 80.8% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Brightwood College - Sacramento
4330 Watt Avenue, Suite 400 | Sacramento, California 95821
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 86.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Unitek College - Sacramento
1111 Howe Avenue, Suite 300 | Sacramento, California 95825
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 82.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Curam College of Nursing
6520 44th Street, Suite 312 | Sacramento, California 95823
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 73.1% NCLEX pass rate (2012 through Q1 2013)
Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center
5451 Lemon Hill Avenue | Sacramento, California 95824
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 64.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Chamberlain College of Nursing - Sacramento
10971 Sun Center Drive | Rancho Cordova, California 95670
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue | Davis, California 95616
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
University of Phoenix - Sacramento Valley
2860 Gateway Oaks Drive | Sacramento, California 95833
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Weimar Institute
20601 West Paoli Lane | Weimar, California 95736
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
School Program NCLEX score Time period
California State University, Sacramento Bachelor of Science in Nursing 96.5% 2007-08 to 2016-17
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Sierra College Associate's Degree in Nursing 96.5% 2007-08 to 2016-17
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Sacramento City College Associate's Degree in Nursing 95.6% 2007-08 to 2016-17
Certificate in Vocational Nursing 91.6% 2009 to 2012
Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
American River College Associate's Degree in Nursing 91.9% 2007-08 to 2016-17
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Carrington College - Sacramento Certificate in Vocational Nursing 89.8% 2009 to Q1 2013
Associate's Degree in Nursing 80.8% 2007-08 to 2016-17
Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Brightwood College - Sacramento Certificate in Vocational Nursing 86.2% 2009 to Q1 2013
Unitek College - Sacramento Certificate in Vocational Nursing 82.9% 2009 to Q1 2013
Curam College of Nursing Certificate in Vocational Nursing 73.1% 2012 to Q1 2013
Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center Certificate in Vocational Nursing 64.7% 2009 to Q1 2013
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Chamberlain College of Nursing - Sacramento Bachelor of Science in Nursing
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
University of California, Davis Direct Entry MSN
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate PhD
Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
University of Phoenix - Sacramento Valley MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Nursing Education
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Weimar Institute Associate's Degree in Nursing
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
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